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Pesiero Conundrum: Finidi George is not the answer.

Fresh from demanding international retirement from a 29yr Old Ngozi Okobi –following her snub from the Australia -New Zealand bound super Falcons world cup squad, my friend Fisayo Dairo is back at it —this time playing Santa five months early- by handing the Super Eagles Job over to Finidi George …a rookie manager with only two years of top tier coaching experience.

Finidi unveiled at Enyimba

Of course I hold my very well respected senior colleague in very high regard ..but even he isn’t immune to the fallibility of absurd takes every now and then.

Given that this article isn’t designed for friendly banter between myself and Mr Dairo …I will refer to his latest on –as I point out the flaws in its articulation.

The Super Eagles represent the peak of football in our national life ..and even if the NFF and the NFA preceding it have fumbled coaching appoints into its ranks on numerous occasions-we cannot advocate for the continuance of this trend -by positioning Finidi to replace the current trainer.

Super eagles coach -Jose Pesiero

The contract situation with Pesiero is in need of resolution – but to propose his firing and then the hiring of Finidi George Is a stretch.

What exactly have we seen of Finidi, that qualifies him for the biggest football Job in the land? …does he tick all the boxes we can imagine for the role as Fisayo suggests? ..let’s interrogate the arguments presented.

First, It ISNT obvious as suggested in Fisayo’s essay, that Nigerians aren’t ready to push their luck any further with Jose Pesiero –there is no survey to support this in absolute terms and as a broadcast Journalist, I have a record of Nigerian football fans who have reneged on their obsession and demand for a beautiful brand of football –which led to the sack of Gernot Rohr –and the subsequent failed voyage in Cameroon as well as the misadventure Vs Ghana in the 2022 world cup qualifiers.

These set of fans, view Jose Pesiero as a reincarnation of Rohr- who may not quench the thirst for the aesthetically pleasing ..but will get us through hurdles such a qualifying for the AFCON 2024 ..which he has ..with a game to spare..and hopefully the world cup qualifiers ahead of 2026.

Fisayo has done well -by extolling Finidi’s relative ability to deal with Situations where players being owed backlogs of salaries/bonuses were able to play and fight for him. However, to put this down to pure man management, is hyperbolic. Players in the Nigerian League–if records are anything to go by, are more or less accustomed to situations of sometimes having to wait a while for paychecks to be cashed. This adaptation-long before the arrival of Finidi to Enyimba cannot be completely attributed to the psychological exploits of the former Ajax man.

L-R: Cyril Olisema & Tosin Omoyele

There are few examples at Enyimba football club that also suggest that Finidi George-hasn’t been able to accomdate certain players or convince them to do his bidding. Examples are Tosin Omoyele and Cyril Olisema –who both left in search of playing time and greener pastures.

As one of first Journalists to visit and Interview Finidi upon his his arrival to the Nigeria League- I listened to him talk about the influences of Van Gaal et al …and how he hopes to replicate the Dutch way with Enyimba –but two years after, Enyimba’s play generally speaking – isn’t in any way a resemblance of 1994/1995 Ajax. They have looked labourous at times ..much to the distaste of Aba fans who for instance – groaned a great deal when I was there for television commentary on their home game vs Bendel Insurance- in which they managed to secure a point courtesy of an Emeka Obioma Penalty.

Enyimba League’s win .. though I concede is the ultimate prize, is a bit deceptive when properly examined. The much advertised Finidi– did not produce a dominant or breathtaking brand of approach ..neither did he outclass other local coaches in the mix.
Had Daniel Ogumodede’s Remo Stars been on target on one more occasion during the Super 6…or had Rivers United- tutored by the much experienced Stanley Eguma been more fortunate to the tune of two more goals in the playoffs ..Finidi George’s Enyimba wouldn’t be parading as Champions.

Npfl 22/23 Champions -Enyimba

The 2022/23 NPL season was an abridged version…which did not offer Finidi and Enyimba a test across board. A league title secured via a +1 goal difference in a playoff does not set Finidi a class above his local peers.
If he isn’t a class above, –Why not Stanley Eguma for the Eagles Job then…Why not Ogumodede or Monday Odigie of Remo and Bendel respectively?

L-R-Eguma & Ogumodede

Finidi’s record of 60games..25wins…20losses and 15draws isn’t a glowing CV for the biggest job in the land..neither is 2years worth of coaching experience at tier one level.

Finidi may yet coach the National team but all talk of it now is premature. His managerial career is too embryonic for such.

Onah Kosi

Philosophy| Broadcast Journalist| Society|Development|economics|politics|Sports and Football Commentary on @Nigeriainfofm @nigeriainfoPH @coolfmPH

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Mathias Jacob

    Wow 😳😳 Onah kosi I’m impressed with all your points concerning Finding George attaining the position of national team coach are vital especially the just concluded abridge league format wasn’t a top notch performance from people’s elephant.
    The reason and points Fisayo Dairo article was bringing to the table are far from the what we needed as a Nation.
    I’m expecting more cintilating article from you Onah kosi

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